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Edwin Hayward @uk_domain_names
, 28 tweets, 7 min read Read on Twitter
Here's the truth about Brexit, the "punishment" that some people claim the EU wants to inflict on the UK, the real consequences of "no deal", and the hidden dangers of a possible transition period. Buckle in, it's quite long. Better to be thorough than to leave stuff out! 1/25
The EU isn't punishing the UK for Brexit. We're punishing ourselves. Losing all the benefits of EU membership IS punishment, in the same way as no longer being able to use the fitness equipment, weights or other facilities is punishment for quitting the local gym. 2/25
If you cancel your gym membership, you might well put on weight. But you wouldn't then turn around and say "Hey, the gym punished me for leaving by making me fat!" That would be absurd because it's the consequence of losing your gym membership, not the fault of the gym. 3/25
Exactly the same logic applies to the EU. The EU isn't vindictive, it isn't trying to teach us a lesson. It is merely applying the rules of Article 50. Article 50 is a simple set of 5 rules that dictate what happens if a country wants to leave the EU. 4/25…
Note that the UK was fully involved with producing Article 50. Indeed, a Brit (Lord Kerr) drafted it! Article 50 was written in 2009, i.e. 7 years before the referendum. That means successive governments have known exactly what leaving under Article 50 would entail. 5/25
The most important part of Article 50 is the third rule, which states that all EU treaties AUTOMATICALLY cease to apply to a country two years after invoking Article 50. In the UK's case, that's March 29, 2019 at 11pm. That's when we lose all our treaty benefits. 6/25
Another way to think of the Article 50 process is to picture it as a conveyor belt with a pool full of sharks at the end. We chose to step onto the conveyor belt, totally unprepared. If we don't do anything, it WILL dump us in the sharks on 29 March 2019 at 11pm. 7/25
At the moment, we benefit from over 750 treaties as EU members. These allow us to trade freely with the EU and 40+ non-EU countries. Aside from trade, they also address many other issues, from air worthiness to drivers licenses, UK & EU citizens rights, food safety, etc. 8/25
If we fail to reach a deal, all those treaties end, poof, just like that. In the blink of an eye, we go from 750+ treaties to none. Life in the UK will change instantly. No more free trade. Flights may be grounded. You may need an international license to drive in the EU. 9/25
That's just the tip of the iceberg. Hundreds of aspects of daily life will be impacted. Of course, each of those treaties could be replaced with a new bespoke agreement. But they will need to be negotiated 1-by-1, with the EU or individual countries. 10/25…
We're talking about staggering amounts of work! So when someone says "We'll be fine with no deal" they're really saying "don't worry, we can sort out 750+ side arrangements with 27 EU countries, and dozens more around the world, all before 11pm on 29 March 2019." 11/25
Does that sound remotely credible? Can you see a Government, incapable of agreeing a single Brexit strategy after two years, somehow magically pulling off hundreds of successful side deals in under 6 months? That's why "no deal" is so bad. That's why people are panicking. 12/25
So far, we've only looked at "no deal" as it impacts the UK. But there's also the NI border, Gibraltar, the fate of UK citizens in the EU & EU citizens in the UK, and many other considerations. All these become "unknown unknowns", potentially left hanging or unresolved. 13/25
The only real "Project Fear" is the fear that those who understand how Article 50 works feel as they watch the clock tick down towards a no deal on 29 March 2019 at 11pm. Properly terrifying stuff. And that's the truth. 14/25
Again, none of this is "punishment". It's just how the process (which the UK agreed to) works. Theresa May knew about it before activating Article 50. She could have resolved her party's internal bickering first, but instead she wasted years of negotiation on in-fighting. 15/25
So that's "no deal". But what happens if we agree a Withdrawal Agreement, and somehow cobble a deal together? Well, the news isn't great... We still exit the EU on 29 March 2019 at 11pm (unless the WA somehow amends this). And that means we still lose all those treaties. 16/25.
Of course, we might have a transition period to cushion the shock until December 2020. But we're still outside the EU, even during the transition. All the transition period does is replicate most of the benefits of EU membership. But Brexit itself will be irreversible then. 17/25
And at the end of the transition period, we face exactly the same cliff edge we do under "no deal". Remember, the treaties are GONE. So once the transition conditions wear off, we better have all our ducks lined up to replace them, otherwise there will be suffering ahead! 18/25
During transition, our leverage is almost zero. There's no threat we can make (we can't walk away, because we're already out, and we can't threaten "no deal" because we've already lost all our treaties). So it will be very, very hard to negotiate anything like what we lost. 19/25
Another way to picture it: a no deal Brexit is like rigging the load-bearing walls of a house with explosives, then detonating them on 29 March 2019 at 11pm. A transition period inserts temporary props to keep the house standing, but the walls themselves will still be gone. 20/25
The EU has proposed many templates for our future relationship. We rejected all of them. Our attitude is like marching into Thorntons and demanding they rip open all their selection boxes of chocolates so that we can pick our absolute favourites. 21/25…
Unsurprisingly, that hasn't gone down very well with the EU side. They have given us lots of options. They've also made it very clear they won't split the EU's "4 freedoms". We ignored all that, and proposed an unworkable option (Chequers) and repeated it again and again. 22/25
And still the Tories appear no closer to finding common ground on what kind of Brexit they want. Anyone would think they're almost happy to let the Article 50 conveyor belt do its stuff, and land us in the shark pool of "no deal"! 23/25
P.S. Some people imagine that "no deal" means the status quo. We have a shared responsibility to correct them. No deal is as far from the status quo as it’s possible to be. No deal = no withdrawal agreement = no transition period. Over the cliff edge we go on March 29 2019. 24/25
Thanks for reading this far. Sorry it was such a long read. Please spread the word if you feel it deserves a wider audience. If you know musicians, artists, celebrities, MPs or any other influencers personally, please reach out to them directly. Again, thank you. 25/25
Added: to find out MUCH more about the trade & non-trade treaties that apply to the UK, and what may happen to them after Brexit, see the House of Commons International Trade Committee's "Continuing application of EU trade agreements after Brexit" report:…
Added #2: International law doesn't care about feelings or belief or positivity or patriotism. None of these things affect it in the slightest. It just IS. Anyone saying "Brexit's failing because you don't believe in it enough" might as well be talking about believing in fairies.
Added #3: If you have a strong constitution, here's the latest HOC briefing listing all the current "Brexit unknowns." It runs to 63 close-packed pages... So, next time a Leaver airily waves a hand & says "It's all going to be ok", just send them the link!…
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